Orange Sugar Palmiers

Pretty much every bakery in Karachi sells Palmiers or French Hearts. They are one of those things that I can rarely resist picking up when I am back in Karachi, but am frequently disappointed by. The thing is they are just a little… boring you know?

Orange Sugar Palmiers

In one of my recent nostalgic moods I pulled out a sheet of all butter puff pastry from my freezer and looked around for inspiration. It came quickly in the form of two lackluster oranges lying in my fruit bowl. Remember the citrus sugar I had made for beignets? I zested the oranges, rubbed the zest into some granulated sugar, added a teensy bit of salt and wow, these were really good. The orange zest brightens the flavor of these flaky petite puff pastry treats and transforms them into something extraordinary.

They’re also really pretty (if I do say so myself) and would make great hostess gifts or a very welcome addition to the usual smorgasbord of Christmas cookies.

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Crunchy Delicious Hazelnut Sticks

There are biscuits you make to impress people – the pretty kind, the indulgent kind, the kind that you look at and ooh and aah. These are clearly not those biscuits, these are the biscuits that you put into the nearest jar and share with a good friend over coffee and really good conversation. There is something extraordinarily comforting about the crunch of finely chopped hazelnuts toasted to nutty caramelly perfection and I can imagine them disappearing quickly over gossip with friends.

Delicious Hazelnut Crunch Sticks

If you wanted to make these prettier looking you could do so with a little drizzle of chocolate or a dunk in Nutella and some nonpareils. Before gussying them up try them as they are just so you can truly appreciate just how something so simple can be so good.

Added perks? Great hazelnut taste without peeling and toasting hazelnuts AND they are eggless for those avoiding eggs.

Delicious Hazelnut Crunch Sticks

These babies are from Alice Medrich’s book Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy and so far most of the things that I have tried from this book have turned out well including these.

Crunchy Delicious Hazelnut Sticks

On another note, I am sorry for the lack of posts. A crazy combination of time away, failed photos, recipes that I came up with and forgot to write down has meant that I have been an absentee blogger. My instagram followers (@sarahjmir) know that for the most of it I have been cooking and baking away and will have lots to share with you in the coming weeks!

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Lemon White Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love lemon so much so that I will cram it into both my savory and sweet dishes as often as humanly possible. Even in situations where it ought to not be possible, but what is a girl to do – sometimes the temptation is just way too strong.

With these cookies it not only belongs, but is such a welcome variation on the ‘usual’ cookie. To be honest I was not sure if I would like the lemon+brown sugar+white chocolate combination. However, the flavorful zest adds a brightness to the depth of the brown sugar and white chocolate adds the perfect amount of sweetness to offset the tanginess of the zest.

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The original recipe is from the delicious looking Pretty.Simple.Sweet. I have to thank Shiran for the genius addition of cornstarch. It definitely helped extend the cookies ‘life’ i.e. the cookies stayed softer for far longer than most. Also, check it out, she seems to have found the prettiest white chocolate chips ever. 

These cookies would be the perfect topper for a summer time picnic, but are equally lovely as an afternoon snack with some cold milk. In short, they’re yummy all the time 😉

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Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Guys, I don’t know if you have noticed, but I have been a little off baking recently. Turns out everything that was on my ‘to bake’ list had copious amounts of chocolate in it and I am still recovering from the luxurious flourless chocolate cake here.

Anyway, it was only natural that I turn to my second favorite baked goods flavor – lemon. It was only a matter of time that I decided upon this recipe here  and tweaked it only a little to produce a delicately flavored lemon cookie that went oh so well with a cup of tea in the afternoon. Now I don’t usually even drink tea in the afternoons, but with a cookie like this it seemed very much in order. Even my tot who several times during the baking process announced that she did not like lemon cookies and wanted to make ‘chap-e-chip’ (chocolate chip) cookies fell in love with these. A little too much so as I found out when I turned around and discovered that where there once were 4-5 cookies stacked on a plate there was now nothing, but crumbs.

This is not a puckeringly sour lemon cookie, but a more gently flavored one that seems to get better as it sits out for a little bit. I had almond extract handy so I used half that and half vanilla extract because I find that in ‘lemony’ things it adds an extra note of brightness.

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